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Positive reinforcement

Iranian graduate student a leader in Memorial's engineering community

special feature: Student success

Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring convocation 2017.


By Jackey Locke

Having grown up in historic Isfahan, Iran’s No. 1 tourist destination due to the city’s stunning array of art and architecture, Javad Hashemi appears to be a product of his environment when it comes to making his mark on the world.

Mr. Hashemi arrived at Memorial University in 2012 to complete his PhD in the development and application of new engineering tools and technologies for safety and integrity management in the oil and gas industry, with the purpose of improving safety of people, assets and the environment.

Effective leader

Soon after his arrival, he began volunteering for various events and societies and became known as an effective leader. Dr. Leonard Lye, associate dean, graduate studies, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, says he first met Mr. Hashemi when he offered to help with Memorial’s Three-Minute Thesis Competition a couple of years ago.

“He was very helpful,” said Dr. Lye. “He has been also involved with the Society of Petroleum Engineers since 2013, first as vice-president and is the current president. Javad leads an active society and has been instrumental in increasing the profile of the society locally and nationally. We are lucky to have him at Memorial.”

Face challenges together

Mr. Hashemi doesn’t think he was born with leadership skills; he says they are acquired or learned.

“When someone is a leader, it helps him or her to stay focused on personal and professional goals and to be productive,” he said. “Being a leader forces one to learn how to communicate effectively with others to ensure that one doesn’t have to face challenges alone.”

Mr. Hashemi has won numerous awards that recognize his impact on the community and the individuals he meets. Most recently, he received the Dr. Leonard Lye Award for Leadership and The Irshad Khan Scholarship for Safety and Risk Engineering.

“We are lucky to have him at Memorial.” — Dr. Leonard Lye

The Dr. Leonard Lye Award for Leadership recognizes outstanding contributions by graduate students in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The Irshad Khan Scholarship for Safety and Risk Engineering is awarded to a full-time graduate student who has excelled in the area of safety and risk engineering.

‘Beautiful beliefs’

Being named the recipient of an award is a “huge honour,” Mr. Hashemi says, but not for the reasons you might think.

“Winning an award means that there are great people with beautiful beliefs in their community who care about other people’s growth by recognizing their success,” he said. “Winning awards is not only a very rewarding accomplishment to validate my success, but it is also a commitment for me to work harder towards my goals.”

He is also quick to point out that awards don’t just recognize individual effort. He says without the support from his peers, he would not have the opportunity to develop to a point to meet the awards’ criteria.

Next up?

In the coming months, Mr. Hashemi is on track to complete his PhD. He also hopes to work on projects related to risk, integrity and safety assessment of oil and gas projects.

“I want to become a reliable safety and risk assessment specialist that others rely upon for the most current information.”


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